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"As a team, we bring the common sense and the strategic thinking that helps make respect for human rights part of how business gets done. Yes, we bring expertise about the Guiding Principles and leading practices – but we also foster transformative dialogue that enables real change to happen."

Rachel Davis, Managing Director, Shift

The Shift Approach

Our team facilitates dialogue, builds capacity and develops new approaches with companies, government, civil society organizations and international institutions to enable them to implement the Guiding Principles.

Our vision is a future where businesses have the knowledge and skills to respect human rights, and markets drive and reward leading practice. To achieve our vision we equip business leaders to implement the Guiding Principles, and we engage those who influence companies' action to create the incentives, requirements and collaboration needed to embed respect for human rights into business. This work happens through four specific program areas as well as our thought leadership and targeted educational resources.

Business Learning

We provide expert advice for a small group of companies that are serious about human rights and use what we learn to help build broader understanding.

Business Learning

Government Engagement

We provide expertise and and facilitate dialogue processes for governments to support more effective policy and regulation on business and human rights.

Government Engagement

International Partnerships

We work collaboratively with intergovernmental institutions, industry and multistakeholder initiatives to develop practical approaches to human rights challenges.

International Partnerships

Education and Outreach

We share thought leadership and build organization’s own capacity through speaking engagements, opinion articles and interactive workshops.

Education and Outreach

How We Work


In-person and online, our team brings together diverse stakeholders to build consensus and foster transformative dialogue that enables real change to happen.


From the highest policy levels to grassroots efforts in emerging economies, we are champions for robust implementation of the Guiding Principles as a lever for positive impacts on people’s lives.


From in-person workshops to webinars to written guidance, our team enables people to put the Guiding Principles into practice, using an interactive and case based approach.


We generate new insights and approaches on implementing the Guiding Principles, from methodologies to assess human rights risks to reporting approaches that drive both transparency and performance.

Can Shift work with my organization?

We are facilitators, advocates, educators and innovators focused on enabling a wide range of organizations to have the policies and practices in place that deliver on the promise of the Guiding Principles. On any given day, our global team may be guiding a consumer goods company through the process of identifying and prioritizing its human rights risks; facilitating a day-long workshop for local civil society organizations in an emerging economy to explore how the Guiding Principles can help them advocate for business respect for human rights; or advising a government agency on its policy for engagement with business.

As a non-profit organization, rather than a consultancy, we consider carefully who to work with, and focus where we believe we can support meaningful change. We also lead our own initiatives to drive progress on key elements of business respect for human rights, such as our program on corporate human rights reporting and our work with financial institutions to implement the Guiding Principles. To learn more specifically about our training opportunities, please click the link below.

Learn more

Featured Collaborations

Thought Leadership

The Way Businesses' Social Performance Gets Measured Isn't Working

February 2018 | Caroline Rees

At Shift, we are starting a major new collaboration to help change that.

Respect for Human Rights: Creating a Holistic Framework for Business Contributions to the SDGs

May 2017 | Caroline Rees

This short framework for analysis and action offers a straightforward way for any company to work out how it should and can contribute to sustainable development.

Making Economic Globalization Work for All: Achieving Socially Sustainable Supply Chains

February 2017 | John G. Ruggie

In this keynote address to G20 countries, Shift Chair and Guiding Principles author John Ruggie argues that effectively managed global supply chains can be significant leverage points to make globalization work better for all.


Human Rights Reporting: Are Companies Telling Investors What They Need to Know?

May 2017 | Michelle Langlois, Shift; supported by the UK Department for International Development, EY and Hermes Investment Management

This research assesses 74 of the world's largest companies for their maturity in reporting on human rights.

Human Rights Reporting: Are Companies Telling Investors What They Need to Know?

IBA Practical Guide on Business and Human Rights for Business Lawyers

June 2016 | International Bar Association

This foundational guidance, issued by the International Bar Association, is designed to help bar associations and business lawyers everywhere understand the Guiding Principles.

IBA Practical Guide on Business and Human Rights for Business Lawyers

Business and Human Rights: A Five-Step Guide for Company Boards

May 2016 | Shift and UK Equality and Human Rights Commission

This short guidance provides “need to know” information for company leaders about how to meet the UN Guiding Principles’ expectations of doing business with respect for human rights.

Business and Human Rights: A Five-Step Guide for Company Boards
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